Past Winners » Verinco


Royston Ffrench probably kicked for home on Verinco a little too early in the Portland Handicap at Doncaster over five and a half furlongs, but he still managed to finish seventh, beaten just over two lengths, and he is worth another chance today. The second and third, Confessional and Addictive Dream, have both upheld the value of the form, while the winner came out and ran a perfectly respectable race in the Coral Sprint Trophy at York last Saturday. Back over the bare five furlongs here, 140 yards back in trip, at the sharp track of Catterick, should suit Bryan Smart’s horse and he is worth backing.

Justin Newman takes over again from Royston Ffrench, and his 7lb claim will be valuable in the soft ground. Newman was on board for both of Verinco’s previous two runs before Doncaster, an impressive all-the-way Carlisle win over five furlongs on easy ground, and at York over six furlongs, when he showed blistering speed before being run down late on by Internationaldebut (who has won twice since) and Parisian Pyramid (who also ran well in the Coral Sprint Trophy).

Verinco has had a little break to get over three runs in just over three weeks, and hopefully that will have sharpened him up. He is drawn right on the inside in stall one, which means that he should have the rail to run against, especially as most of the other prominent racers are drawn out wide. They often come stands side in the home straight at Catterick when the ground is soft, as it is today, so Newman may have to come across in the straight, but he may well be ahead and able to do that. The horse is suited to easy ground, the drop back to five furlongs (and a fast five furlongs at that) is in his favour, and his young rider knows him quite well now. It is a pity that a few of Verinco’s rivals have come out this morning, and that his price has consequently tumbled, but Magical Macey in particular was a danger, and the 11/2 is still worth taking.

Bryan Smart’s horses are running well at present, he had a winner at Redcar yesterday, and he is a fine trainer of sprinters, as evidenced by Move In Time’s win in a listed race at Ascot recently and Tangerine Trees’s win in the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye.

VERINCO WON (ADV 11/2, SP 3/1)